Cruises to South America work particularly well due to the continents vast size – there’s simply so much to see, sailing makes for an ideal way to catch all the sights in one go. The exhilaration of a South America cruise affords variety, adventure, the historic remains of ancient civilisations and ambitious future developments, plus a wide variety of landscapes ranging from the driest place on Earth to the thundering plumes of water at Iguazu Falls.
Many cruises to South America head to Rio de Janeiro, and it’s easy to see why. Dominated by a skyline of skyscraper,.
Brazil’s premier destination is a heady cocktail of beautiful people moving to the endless rhythmic beat of the samba, with amazing scenery and hectic atmosphere adding to the enchantment. Take a cable car away from the bustle up Sugarloaf Mountain to Mount Corcovado, where Christ the Redeemer stands and share his view over this incredible bay. Stroll along the famous beaches, humming the tune to The Girl from Ipanema, or perhaps Copacabana. Blanketing the country in thick forest, the Amazon Rainforest is a fantastic destination to embark on organised tours to explore the world’s lungs and the flora and fauna of the greatest forest on Earth. You could view the pink river dolphin, giant otter or even the elusive jaguar as you sail serenely through the trees; head up into the canopy to view the vivid birdlife and the wildlife treasures increase further.
In Uruguay, the capital of Montevideo is a city of great contrast. The enormous, industrial port is a bustling hive of commerce, while the centre sees skyscrapers spike into the sky and charming Art Deco and Neoclassical architecture add intrigue and a hit of colour. Take to the streets of the Old Town and tour the cafés and bars of the colourful restored buildings. This is a city where coffee and fine wine are highly prized, rich and full bodied with plenty of flavour – perfect with a tender Argentinian steak.
Across the Rio de La Plata, Buenos Aires is a capital that bustles with life. Known as the ‘Paris of South America’ thanks to its elegant architecture and leafy boulevards, prepare to put your best foot forward on the world’s largest road, through the ornate cemetery of Recoleta and in the colourful barrios – vibrant neighbourhoods where tango is danced on street corners and the buildings are adorned in the colours of South America. In the south, Ushuaia has an end of the Earth feel. As the gateway to the glaciers and spectacular scenery of the Tierra del Fuego – the ‘land of fire’ – there are plenty of opportunities for adventure. Sail along the coast of Patagonia and you can take in the fresh air up on deck – you’ll spot toothpaste-blue glaciers and perhaps a breaching southern right whale on its migration, with the backdrop of verdant green mountains capped with snow.
The long skinny nation of Chile is the spine of the continent, snaking down much of the west coast. On a cruise to this immensely varied realm you could find yourself in desolate Punta Arenas, a charming city on the Magellan Strait or colourful Valparaiso, famed for its hotch-potch buildings and steep funicular railways.
South America’s vast expanse lends itself well to cruise holiday. Embark on one of our cruises to South America and you’ll find yourself exploring desert dunes and rainforest, glacier fields and soaring mountains, as well as cities with more flavour than the cuisine.
Best time to travel
The best time to visit Asia depends on where you’re going.
It’s a year-round destination as topography and size means it could be hot in one destination and snowing in another! The region is also subject to monsoons and humidity, so it’s always best to pack a waterproof.
Argentina is famous for its steak and red wine – both enjoyed together.
Chile also produces a fabulous array of red and white wines, we’d recommend a wine tasting to make the most of them. Brazilian dishes are hearty and fiery, with barbecued meat a favourite and plenty of stews to try – don’t miss moqueca (fish stew) or feijoda, a black bean and pork stew eaten the length and breadth of the country, washed down with a glass of refreshing cachaça caipirinha. In Peru, you may be offered guinea pig.
South America contains more than 40% of the world’s plant and animal species – most of it in the Amazon Rainforest.
The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls, located in Venezuela. It’s almost 1,000 metres high.
Things to do
- Explore the Mayan and Incan ruins and step back through thousands of years of history
- Climb to the top of Mount Corcovado for amazing views of Christ the Redeemer
- Dive among the abundant marine life in beautiful Buzios
- Stroll around the galleries and museums of Buenos Aires
- Learn about the huge variety of exotic wildlife in the Pantanal
- Tour colourful Valparaiso by cable car – the best way to see the fantastic views
- Head to Punta Del Este and relax on the beautiful beaches
- Follow the Inca Trail for once in a lifetime views of Machu Picchu
- Explore the ends of the Earth at Ushuaia, the gateway to the Tierra del Fuego
- Snap some photographs of the Amalia Glacier as you cruise around South America
- Take the cable car to the top of Mount Sugarloaf for amazing views of Rio de Janeiro
- Glide through the Panama Canal and learn about the modern marvel of engineering
- Walk out to the Devil’s Throat for the best views of the cataracts of Iguazu Falls
- •Join a guided excursion through the Amazon Rainforest and discover the flora and fauna